Remembering Dad. Pondering. Percussion. Schedule.

Honor Thy Father. Top Five Thoughts. There Is Only One Sheila E. A Sunday Of Sports.

  • No matter your age, you are very lucky if you still have your father. No matter the level of relationship, your father should be recognized and remembered today.

My father was a great man. Though his work ethic was remarkable, and he enjoyed the challenge of his job every day, he never made a great deal of money. His priority was always the family, making sure that we had a comfortable home and the general conveniences afforded to my mother, Aunt Kay, and my older brother. He was okay with my mom making most or all of the household decisions, but when a decision was made, he was the one who made it happen. One example is Aunt Kay, who along with her husband, were longtime friends of my parents. When Aunt Kay’s husband unexpectedly passed away, it was my father who made the final decision to ask her to come and join our family. I was barely two years old, and subsequently had the benefit of living with two moms, both very different from one another.

Due to my dad’s work schedule, he could not attend most of my club or high school soccer games as most were played in the afternoon. When on a rare occasion we did play a night game, my dad was always there, very proud of me in my uniform and being part of a team. He did not know a great deal about soccer, but I do remember what he said to me before a night game: “I want you to be a leader and impose your will on that field.” That comment has stuck with me forever – through both sport and business. My dad was never afforded those opportunities as a youngster, as he was raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant (a.k.a. Bed-Stuy), a diverse area of Brooklyn, New York, where his father, who came to the United States from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was involved in the “rag” business. There is a lot more to that story, but I will leave that for another time.

For the most part an affable man, my father was loved by all in my neighborhood. He loved my girlfriends, and jostled with my guy friends, who sometimes forgot that my dad boxed in a New York City AAU program. His go-to slap was the slip punch, which my friends, playfully sparring with my dad, would unfortunately experience. My dad was a bit like Archie Bunker, influenced by his upbringing, his service in the Korean War, and our neighborhood in Miami – a diverse mix of working-class culture. Though he had his opinions, my dad’s tipping point was respect. No matter one’s race or religion, my dad had no time for anyone being disrespectful. I found that out the hard way, when for some stupid reason I decided to back-talk my mother. Trust me, it was the one and only time I made that mistake.

My dad passed away at the young age of sixty-five. His passing left a big void for my mom and Aunt Kay – a void that I could not fulfill no matter my effort and resources. No matter – take today of all days to pay some respect to all fathers around the world.

  • Five Things I Am Thinking About
  1. The changing of leadership in Israel after all those years of Netanyahu.
  2. Will the vaccines help mitigate the variant viruses now roaming the earth?
  3. What is the outcome of the Biden – Putin summit?
  4. Wimbledon without two of the best players in the world.
  5. Fathers around the world.

  • It was most likely thirty-five years ago and the venue was The Omni -Atlanta, Georgia’s central city arena before it was replaced by what is now the awesome State Farm Arena. I was dragged to The Omni to watch Lionel Richie, who I really enjoyed when he was with The Commodores, but really disliked as a solo artist. Little did I know that the opening act was this young, beautiful singer and percussionist by the name of Sheila E. She was in a word memorizing, from her glamorous looks to her incredible ability on the drums. Twenty minutes into her opening act I was really hoping that she was the only act – and in the video below, some thirty-five years later, you can see why:
Sheila E. was known as “The Queen of Percussion.”

  • My last post covered the feeling of returning to a level of normalcy, fueled by the return of worldwide sporting events. Last night was all about the NBA playoffs and Orlando City, and today, on Father’s Day, we have Euro, Copa America, Atlanta United, the U.S. Open, and the 7th game of the NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals with the Atlanta Hawks battling Philadelphia. An amazing sports day, on Father’s Day, to help us forget about the tough go we all had for the last sixteen months. Let’s go Hawks!

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and Happy Father’s Day!!

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